I woke up at 5.22 am because Nonie-puss jumped on me, oof, and immediately afterwards the house shook (I swear I wormed her, she doesn’t weigh that much!) and there was a crunching noise. I wondered if all the snow had fallen off the roof  in one lump, but no…scratched head, went back to sleep…

We had an earthquake! A tiny one, but that’s the 3rd earthquake since I moved to Nottingham in the mid 90s…

STA43276

The rock on the right of this picture is local to Derbyshire, maybe 20 miles from here, and is limestone formed from petrified sponges (sharks in the lagoon maybe? soz, my bad!)

I never paid much attention to rocks growing up, probably because Suffolk is a bit limited that way, the very few hills are river terraces mainly and with so much of the countryside in arable farming, I didn’t look at the lie of the land, I looked at the crops and how they were doing…Nottingham has really interesting outcrops, at the Castle, all the caves (900?) the sandstone riverbeds showing at the very top of the hill where Hucknall Road meets Perry Road…that one I always try to look at, I’m at the top of what was the bottom…?!?

The WEA ran a course on climate change that got me interested in geology, and then I went on 2 of Judy Rigby’s wonderful introductions to the local landscape…and it really changes how I see the land around me, the possibilities of how the land can be lived on, what is natural to it, what has changed in the last 80 million years ( a tropical lagoon near the equator…) to what has changed in the last 500 years (the Enclosures Act). There is an oak in the park 5 minutes walk away commemorating the enclosures, and I always wonder if it is in sadness, the way you plant a tree in someone’s memory. The enclosures robbed so many people of rights over common land that made them self sufficient : the right to pasture sheep and cattle, the right to beechmast for pigs, to coppice trees, to herbs and wildflowers for teas and simples, herbal medicines for people who could not afford physic (largely dangerous remedies made up by the men/Church who were trying to suppress women healers aka witches, and who promoted things like mercury instead, scary!) and straw and strewing herbs for bedding and floors…

Life has changed and the way we use land has changed and what we consider “normal”, the giant agri-business approach, dependent on petro-chemical fertilisers and penicillin-laden livestock is actually not even 100 years old, more like 50. When the oil runs out, how will we breed enough horses to replace tractors? Or will they try and invent solar ploughs? Or wind turbine charged electric battery tractors? The children who were so good at farming at the schools I went to would regularly miss classes to help with harvests, and this was winked at, because, actually this was their future career. Now schools are training unwilling attenders for cubicle prisons and call centres, when they are physically suited to outdoor work, but somehow there is no respect for the value of farming and agricultural work… “the world turned upside down”, indeed…I read a piece by a disabled rights activist recently, whose name I have forgotten, sorry, but whose point was, we all are incapable of life in the 21st Century without huge infrastructure and support from others, locally and globally, but the difference is for the able that the system is set up around their needs. When the oil runs out and no one knows how to harness an ox to a plough, we are all going to be disabled by hunger…

A thought which might rock your world…

STA43348

Advertisements